News Lord Butler himself was asked to investigate two cases of potential ministerial misconduct

Britain’s most senior civil servants should no longer be asked to investigate accusations of ministerial misconduct because they do not have the “powers” to get to the truth, the former Cabinet Secretary, Lord Robin Butler, has suggested.

Leading article: With conflicts of interest, perception is all

The question is rightly being asked: if Baroness Warsi has been referred to the independent adviser on the Ministerial Code for what appears, on the face of it, to be a fairly minor infringement, why not Jeremy Hunt – either for maintaining too close ties with News Corp over its bid for BSkyB or for not keeping proper tabs on his special adviser?

Leading article: Why have Sir Alex Allan if we're not going to use him?

What is the point of having an independent adviser on the Ministerial Code if he or she is never consulted?

Liam Fox jet fighter error costs UK millions

David Cameron will rubber stamp an embarrassing U-turn over the Government's £5.2bn super aircraft carrier programme this week to avoid "a floating white elephant".

Steve Richards: Now we see this industry has oversold itself

Cabinet ministers are human beings. They know people. They have friends and former colleagues who are sometimes also friends. Some of their friends and former colleagues become lobbyists. Their closeness to ministers is the reason they secure lucrative jobs.

Philip Hensher: Werritty had a priceless commodity that others could mine– he had Access

Towards the end of a lifetime of networking, someone asked that glacial charlatan-genius Andy Warhol if there were anyone left he still had a desire to meet.

Liam Fox backs Nadine Dorries over plan to cut number of abortions

The Defence Minister, Liam Fox, has thrown his weight behind a bid to change the law on counselling for women considering a termination, saying yesterday he would support efforts to reduce the "far too high" number of abortions.

Gurkhas to get lower payoffs in Army cuts

One officer facing compulsory redundancy said: 'I have given my whole life to the Army. I feel helpless. There is no morale in the brigade, it is very, very bad'

14 new Chinook helicopters for the RAF

The Royal Air Force will receive 14 new Chinook helicopters in a £1 billion contract, the Ministry of Defence announced today.

Video: Fox: 'Debt is a strategic issue'

Defence Secretary Liam Fox says Britain will not be able to protect itself in the future if the budget deficit is not cleared now.

Armed forces will be unable to cope after budget cuts, say MPs

The MPs have rejected Mr Cameron's contention that the armed forces could cope with a 'full spectrum' of operations

Union attacks MoD civilian job cuts

Union leaders today attacked plans by the Ministry of Defence to cut a further 7,000 civilian posts as "shameful".

Leading article: Indefensible briefings

One of the most striking revelations in the records released earlier this week of meetings between Government ministers and News International executives was that the Defence Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, apparently gave Rupert and James Murdoch confidential briefings on Afghanistan. In extracting information directly from the Defence Secretary, the Murdoch family appears to have taken its Fox News brand rather literally.

Defence Secretary wants reserve soldiers 'build-up'

Defence Secretary Liam Fox has pledged a "build-up" of reserve soldiers which could see a reduction in the size of the regular Army.

Liam Fox apologises over cleared pilots

Defence Secretary Liam Fox apologised today to the families of the pilots in the Mull of Kintyre helicopter crash after a new report cleared them of an earlier finding of negligence.

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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam